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 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 12:22 PM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

I've always handled my c.d.s and my dvd's by the edges to maintain their life-spans. Something I've noticed though and I don't understand why is this: Netflix regular dvd's arrive always scratched and worn in terrible shape, but usually play without problems - but not always. Those discs have seen some traveling and playing. But the Netflix Blu Ray discs arrive and their individual paper sleeve holders are all dirty and torn and well handled, yet the disc inside that worn sleeve looks 'new'. Every blue ray disc looks almost mint, but I know they've been around because I'm going through older popular titled films. Why is this?

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 12:34 PM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Just a guess but I bet there are (still) more people with DVD players than BluRay players. Thus the DVD's get rented out a lot more. Not to mention they've been in rotation for many more years.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 12:36 PM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

Blu-rays are indeed tougher to scratch than DVDs or CDs, thanks to a protective hardcoating. It's necessary because the data layer is closer to the surface, making it more vulnerable to scratches if it doesn't have the coating.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc#Hard-coating_technology

They're not exactly completely invulnerable, but they can take a surprising amount abuse, apparently:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jEbZt6AIQ

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 12:56 PM   
 By:   mastadge   (Member)

Yeah, they're harder to scratch -- but on the flipside the tiniest nick is more likely to cause problems. Usually even visibly scratched and scuffed DVDs play pretty well, but sometimes one of those pristine looking BDs has troubles and I have to squint to find the tiny scratch!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 3:24 PM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Blu-rays are indeed tougher to scratch than DVDs or CDs, thanks to a protective hardcoating. It's necessary because the data layer is closer to the surface, making it more vulnerable to scratches if it doesn't have the coating.

http://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blu-ray_Disc#Hard-coating_technology

They're not exactly completely invulnerable, but they can take a surprising amount abuse, apparently:

http://m.youtube.com/watch?v=o5jEbZt6AIQ




Thanks for these links! I could grasp only so much technical information before I started to fall asleep, but I got the essence of it. One thing stood out: 'The High Definition optical format wars', which was Blu Ray competing with HD- DVD format which ended in 2008 with HD-DVD conceding defeat. I recall some people on this forum arguing for one format over the other one. But I had not the money to buy that NEW Blu Ray player, they were really expensive at the start! I'm curious now though about HD DVD..WHAT WAS THIS, and why did it not succeed?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 8:47 PM   
 By:   Joe E.   (Member)

As I understand it, it goes something like this...

HD-DVD was a competing high-definition optical media format, based on the existing DVD standard but presenting high-def material - 1080p, lossless audio, etc., like Blu-ray. Like DVDs (and CDs), HD-DVD used a red laser to read data encoded on discs. The longer wavelength of red light meant the pits in which the data was encoded on the discs had to be a certain size, though, which capped the capacity of a disc at 30 GB. Blu-ray players, as the name suggests, use blue lasers to read discs, and the shorter wavelength of blue light meant it could read much smaller pits, meaning more data can be squeezed onto a Blu-ray Disc than on an HD-DVD - up to 50 GB instead of 30. This can mean a program can have less compression, or can mean more stuff can be put on a single disc. The formats are otherwise pretty similar in terms of picture quality offered, etc.

The capacity advantage alone was probably the major technical reason the Blu supporters favored it over HD-DVD, and it'd be nice if that were the primary basis for the format war turning out as it did, but in all honesty the outcome was probably at least as much the result of studio decisions, industry politics, etc. Most of the major studios were backing one format or the other, but for a while a couple studios were supporting both. One of them was Warner Bros., which wound up being the last holdout releasing on both platforms when all the other majors had chosen one or the other. They eventually wound up choosing Blu and dropping HD-DVD, possibly at least in part for the capacity thing, but likely because of incentives ($) from Blu's major hardware backer Sony, and possibly even the other Blu studios (Disney and Fox). When Warner went Blu-only and dropped HD-DVD, it decisively tipped things in favor of Blu, and the remaining HD-DVD backers (Universal and Paramount) quickly switched. The high-def format war was thus ultimately decided in what some might consider the right way albeit for the wrong reason (though of course lots of people will have various opinions on this).

 
 Posted:   Jun 20, 2014 - 11:47 PM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

Here is a good history overview of the battle of Sony VS Toshiba:

http://www.techhive.com/article/142584/hddvd_bluray.html

It was insanely expensive to buy either formats when they came out (as well as players), so it was wise to wait and see which format would win as well as see prices drop on players and releases. Though 3D blu-rays nowadays are often priced as high as their regular counterparts were during that initial period.

I remember seeing them in the store but as you can see they vanished quickly!


 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2014 - 2:01 AM   
 By:   CinemaScope   (Member)

Here is a good history overview of the battle of Sony VS Toshiba:


Yup, crazy war, it's like they learned nothing from Betamax v VHS. Also it was boom time around the time of the format war, & they could have sold so much more than they did, but people held off buying when there were two competing HD formats (incl. me), & by the time that Blu-ray won, the world economy had crashed, & Blu-ray has be struggling ever since (I know that's not the only reason). The funny thing is that it was settled by Warner picking Blu-ray, as they were such a big player in the home cinema market, different story now, they release very few HD titles. In fact if it wasn't for the small companies like Twilight Time & Arrow & quite a few others licensing titles from the big studios we'd get bugger all released.

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2014 - 6:16 AM   
 By:   Ron Hardcastle   (Member)

Speaking of Netflix Blu-rays, I've never opted for the upgrade because I just assumed that so many of their movies that I rent wouldn't be available in that format and was also afraid that it might slow down the delivery, plus if it was something I was going to watch just once, it wasn't that important to me. But this thread has made me start to reconsider that.

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2014 - 6:34 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Here is a good history overview of the battle of Sony VS Toshiba:

http://www.techhive.com/article/142584/hddvd_bluray.html

It was insanely expensive to buy either formats when they came out (as well as players), so it was wise to wait and see which format would win as well as see prices drop on players and releases. Though 3D blu-rays nowadays are often priced as high as their regular counterparts were during that initial period.

I remember seeing them in the store but as you can see they vanished quickly!





QUESTION FOR JOE E. & FRANCIS: HD DVD lost the war. So, there may not be a lot of them out there, but those hd dvd's, and I'm assuming they had a 'special hd dvd player', is there this little cult out there that secretly meets and swaps titles? What happened to the hd dvd players? Are they like Laserdisc Players and Beta-Max players now?

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2014 - 6:36 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Here is a good history overview of the battle of Sony VS Toshiba:


Yup, crazy war, it's like they learned nothing from Betamax v VHS. Also it was boom time around the time of the format war, & they could have sold so much more than they did, but people held off buying when there were two competing HD formats (incl. me), & by the time that Blu-ray won, the world economy had crashed, & Blu-ray has be struggling ever since (I know that's not the only reason). The funny thing is that it was settled by Warner picking Blu-ray, as they were such a big player in the home cinema market, different story now, they release very few HD titles. In fact if it wasn't for the small companies like Twilight Time & Arrow & quite a few others licensing titles from the big studios we'd get bugger all released.



You are correct about Twilight Time. The studios are mostly dumping 'trash' quickly onto shelves. But Twilight Time is offering choice titles!

 
 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2014 - 6:48 AM   
 By:   Montana Dave   (Member)

Speaking of Netflix Blu-rays, I've never opted for the upgrade because I just assumed that so many of their movies that I rent wouldn't be available in that format and was also afraid that it might slow down the delivery, plus if it was something I was going to watch just once, it wasn't that important to me. But this thread has made me start to reconsider that.


Ron, it's $5.00 more per month. But Netflix is playing us, the subscribers, as far as title-availability. Examples: 'RED RIVER'. Criterion issued this on blu ray as a 2-disc set. Disc 1 is the original film plus supplements. Disc 2 is the film WITH differently timed ending, added scenes, different beginning etc, plus supplements. However, Netflix has ONLY issued disc 1, we'll have to presumably, buy the set to see that different version. The film, 'Il Surpasso' that I just rented a week ago, was released by Criterion in 2 different versions (not the dual-format version). As regular, dvd and as Blu ray. Netflix is NOT stocking the blue ray at all, only the regular version. And some BBC titles like 'Call the Midwife' (for example). Issued on blu ray, but Netflix is issuing only the standard dvd versions. My best guess about all this is that Netflix is trying to save money by not buying the PRICEY Criterion and BBC dvd blu ray sets and issuing standard versions. NOT ALL Criterion is being done this way by Netflix, but these two are examples. The vast majority of titles though of everything that's available on blu are available at Netflix. But you've got 100,000 dvd's covering your estate, why are you even renting to begin with? wink

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2014 - 6:55 AM   
 By:   solium   (Member)

Sony was able to put their BluRay player into more platforms like gaming systems. That's another reason why BluRay won out. The consumers were educated this time around, most of us didn't buy either platform and waited for a clear winner.

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2014 - 9:30 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)


QUESTION FOR JOE E. & FRANCIS: HD DVD lost the war. So, there may not be a lot of them out there, but those hd dvd's, and I'm assuming they had a 'special hd dvd player', is there this little cult out there that secretly meets and swaps titles? What happened to the hd dvd players? Are they like Laserdisc Players and Beta-Max players now?


The old X-box consoles used to play HD-DVD as well (though I doubt the later models do), I think production on players discontinued after 2008. I know combo players exist (playing both blu-ray and HD-DVD) but they probably stopped being made also.

A friend of mine had a collection of HD-DVDs he'd watch on X-box, I was unaware until I saw him post them for sale on facebook. I imagine most people who got them still kept these as they are not of lesser quality compared to blu-rays. But holding on to them is a bit like keeping a Laserdisc collection or Beta-Max, I doubt you'll find many people who you can lend a movie to.

 
 Posted:   Jun 21, 2014 - 9:40 AM   
 By:   Francis   (Member)

In fact if it wasn't for the small companies like Twilight Time & Arrow & quite a few others licensing titles from the big studios we'd get bugger all released.

You are correct about Twilight Time. The studios are mostly dumping 'trash' quickly onto shelves. But Twilight Time is offering choice titles!

Choice titles yes, but Twilight is far too expensive for what they offer in terms of quality and extras (most often not that much more than what you'll find on a studio release). Not saying that other small companies aren't guilty of doing this, but I'm not a fan of the limited edition model where they'll issue popular movies in the same quantity as obscure titles. Luckily they do get reissued by other labels (or even the studio themselves) abroad, sometimes even improved (as was the case with Arrow's release of "The Fury"). As I gather some of their sold out sony titles will get standard releases over here soon.

For me, the fun part about blu-rays (as was the case with dvds) is looking all over the world for titles released on blu-ray and getting the best possible version. I still get excited when I see a title I like get a HD release because the difference when done properly can be astonishing and make you appreciate the movie so much more.

 
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